Environment & Climate Change

Kwekwe city not safe as machete wars rage on

Violence has eventually crippled the mining activities in Kwekwe rendering operational systems redundant and chaotic, since the opening of Gaika Mine by Mbizo Member of Parliament Vongai Mupereri and his other political party heavyweights in Kwekwe. Violence and related political or mining’ right’ brawls are the order of the day as rival groups of makorokoza fiercely fight or engage in bloody battles that has left many dead, maimed and wounded. The gold diggers use an assortment of weapons that range from machetes, axes, spears to guns. Residents in Amaveni suburb where most of the bloody battles are fought especially at Amaveni  and W Square Shopping centres, were violence seem to be normalised. The police in Kwekwe is not either moved or to be in control of the situation, as these battles are sanctioned by political heavies in Kwekwe, hence no arrest or prosecution of perpetrators is or has been executed. Some of the perpetrators of gold mining violence are well known, as they have been arrested before, but no prosecution has yet been sanctioned by the courts, sighting what the locals  term “The Untouchables” or “The Political Prodical Sons’ , who can neither be nabbed by police or arraigned before the courts. Such has gone the intensity of the violence that even the media in Kwekwe dreads to write stories of gold mining mayhem, terror and blood letting battles for the fear of the unknown lurking in every corner. But the question pasted or glued on every lip in Kwekwe is “Who is sponsoring gold mining related violence in the mining town and Who is benefitting from this orgy ?

“ The rhythmic conduct of the violence which  is now executed with military precision, the complexion the violence is gradually taking shape will take time to control. The way the violence is spearheaded is a reproduction of Mafioso syndicated replica or a carbon copy of a film from the deep dungeons of hell. It will take time to eradicate such kind of violence, which is fast embedded into the social fabric of Kwekwe community rendering the town unsafe to its residents, visitors and investors who might want to open mining ventures in Kwekwe”, said a Human Rights Lawyer in Kwekwe.

The reign of terror has reached alarming proportions in most suburbs in Kwekwe in such a way that most residents have completely erased all night excursions to avoid being mugged, beaten, maimed by machetes or robbed by these gangsters who sometimes resort to instilling fear to anyone who dare venture into the streets at night. Some residents in Fitchlea, Chicago, Hazeldene and other residential areas near Gaika Mine have erected high walls and other structural means as  a  detterent measure to scare off marauding makorokoza who have also developed as sense of breaking into houses to steal anything of value for reselling in order to buy beer.

Old Steelworks Road, a road used by most trucks to Ziscosteel, which passes through Chicago and Hazeldene is  no go area for lone walkers or for a women to travel unescorted, as those who dare have been met with muggings, beatings, attempted rape, robbery and other forms of violence from makorokoza, who have also found  cheap lodgings in the shacks in some plots in the area.

“Life has become unbearable in Chicago, there is rampant mugging, robberies and beatings from makorokoza as they have found a hiding place here. We cannot come from town at dusk or dare walk from work. I have now resorted to hiring a taxi, which is expensive. Our homes are no longer safe from robberies. Our children cannot walk to or from school unescorted. Kwekwe is now unsafe. As a woman I cannot visit my friends in the neighbourhood during the evening for a get together as these gangsters will be lurking somewhere in the dark, wielding machetes and ready to strike’, said Elizabeth Marufu from Hazeldene.

Recently cars were smashed, people stabbed and cruelly attacked by angry gold diggers who fought angry battles at Amaveni Shopping Centre, leaving most shoppers shell shocked and residents in the suburb developing goose pimples as makorokoza gangs fought running battles with each other over mining rights at Gaika Mine. But for how long will Kwekwe residents be exposed to orgies of violence, drunkenness unruly behaviour from makorokoza? For how long will the gold diggers move around wielding machetes and terrorising residents willy-nilly.

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